The Influence of Social Network Characteristics on Peer Clustering in Smoking: A Two-Wave Panel Study of 19- and 23-Year-Old Swedes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The present study examines how the composition of social networks and perceived relationship content influence peer clustering in smoking, and how the association changes during the transition from late adolescence to early adulthood.
The analysis was based on a Swedish two-wave survey sample comprising ego-centric network data. Respondents were 19 years old in the initial wave, and 23 when the follow-up sample was conducted. 17,227 ego-alter dyads were included in the analyses, which corresponds to an average response rate of 48.7 percent. Random effects logistic regression models were performed to calculate gender-specific average marginal effects of social network characteristics on smoking.
The association of egos’ and alters’ smoking behavior was confirmed and found to be stronger when correlated in the female sample. For females, the associations decreased between age 19 and 23. Interactions between network characteristics and peer clustering in smoking showed that intense social interactions with smokers increase egos’ smoking probability. The influence of network structures on peer clustering in smoking decreased during the transition from late adolescence to early adulthood.
The study confirmed peer clustering in smoking and revealed that females’ smoking behavior in particular is determined by social interactions. Female smokers’ propensity to interact with other smokers was found to be associated with the quality of peer relationships, frequent social interactions, and network density. The influence of social networks on peer clustering in smoking decreased during the transition from late adolescence to early adulthood.

Details

Authors
Organisations
External organisations
  • Stockholm University
  • Centre for Health Equity Studies (CHESS)
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
  • Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology

Keywords

  • smoking , social networks, peer effects
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0164611
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume11
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Oct 11
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes